I want to welcome you back for this the tenth chapter of The Story, the Bible in a narrative or story format. We have been journeying through the period of the Judges now for several chapters and if anything is to be said about Israel – God’s chosen people its this “they just don’t seem to get it”. Six times they are sent a judge to rescue them from oppression and six times they slip back into their sinful ways. Sadly, we are really no different than Israel, even when we have a leader we often don’t get it. Like Israel we believe that its ok to “bend the rules” to slide in life, as long as no one gets hurt. Like the Israelites then with their worshiping of Baal, the fertility goddess, we pursue what pleases us and makes us happy harder than we pursue God.
This week we once again find Israel in turmoil their judge Eli has lost his will to guide his family according to God’s law, God then raises up a young boy named Samuel to lead his people and he does that well and yet as he enters retirement Israel decides that it no longer needs a judge to lead it rather things would be better if they had a king. After all the nations all around them have kings and they seem to be prospering. There is some irony in this Israel has God not only that but God communicates with them in person, does miracles on their behalf, speaks to their judges, and they want to replace Him with a human king.
Sadly, Israel “still doesn’t get it”, and 2000+ years later I wonder if we “get it”. How easy is it for us to replace God in our lives with idols, hobbies, work, kids, stuff,…… How easy is it for us to, like Israel look out over the neighborhood and begin to think “if only I had a ____________ then I’d be happy.” How easy is it to become distracted and take our eyes off of Jesus and begin to focus on other things in life.
Israel wanted to be in control of their destiny and they thought that choosing a king would allow them to be like all their neighbors, strong and prosperous. Saul looked good on the outside, and yet he failed miserably as a king because he chose not to follow God’s instructions. Likewise when we choose to have someone or something other than God sit on the throne of our life we will like Saul will fall and fall hard in life and in relationships. Key to life is making our relationship with God the focus of each day. As Saul found out this relationship with God is not one we can maintain on our own we need God and the body of Christ – the church to hold us accountable. Like Israel and like Saul we often don’t want to listen and follow what God wants us to do.
When do you find it hard to obey and follow God’s call on your life?
This first question raises the next which is; ” Who sits in the drivers seat of your life?”
Lastly, do you ever like Israel find yourself making choices that pull you away from your relationship with God and with the church?
What is one way you can choose to place God squarely in the drivers seat of your life?
What is one way you can help the people of God – the church to stay focused on Jesus Christ and to live out his call on our lives to Love God and to Love our neighbor so that the lost might be found?